Slate has published a great piece on the decline of 3D, which outlines how the format has gradually been losing its profitability since it re-emerged with Polar Express in 2004. As thousands of new 3D screens opened up, the profits from 3D screenings have been tapering off, which Daniel Engber surmises, “There’s either too much supply or not enough demand.”
You can read the whole article here.
As I posted in my review of Avatar, the format has yet to create a realistic illusion of a film occupying the same space as the audience, so 3D is just a gimmick to milk your wallet. The decline in 3D’s profits seems evidence of that realization.
The summer prior to Avatar‘s release I remember theater owners, 3D projectionist salesman, directors, the entire film exhibition industry violently trumpeting the wonders of 3D technology and consistently ducking comparisons to previous 3D fads. It seems 3D becomes big every 30 years as it came and went in the 1950’s, 80’s, and now the late 2000’s.
If James Cameron finally achieves everything he has promised with his 3D technology, give me a call. Otherwise, I’ll be keeping my money for 2D.